Binder to Bagnaia: “You bastards did something on the start!”

After losing out on the holeshot to Francesco Bagnaia in both Red Bull Ring races, Brad Binder was certain Ducati has developed something new for their MotoGP race starts.
Francesco Bagnaia leads Austrian MotoGP
Francesco Bagnaia leads Austrian MotoGP

And Bagnaia later admitted Binder was correct.

KTM’s launch superiority is well known this season and, with Binder starting from a rare front row, not far behind pole man Bagnaia, the South African must have fancied his chances of beating the Ducati to Turn 1.

Although Binder (and team-mate Jack Miller) left second on the grid Maverick Vinales for dust, Bagnaia comfortably won the holeshot battle in both the Sprint and Grand Prix. The pair then remained first and second, respectively, to the chequered flags.

While waiting for Sunday’s podium ceremony Bagnaia, Binder and third-place Marco Bezzecchi were shown a replay of the start on TV.

“Hey, you bastards did something on the start, eh?” Smiled Binder, tapping Bagnaia on the shoulder with his fist.

“My start was f**king good, but… not as good as normal!” Binder added.

Bagnaia didn’t respond and continued watching the replays.

But when later quizzed by the media about why the Ducati seemed to have been so much stronger off the line, he confirmed:

“For the start, it’s clear that it’s something [new] we had to our bike, but it’s something that I prefer someone above - in Ducati - to speak about because I don't want to be the first one [to say what it is].

“It’s something that helped me in the first part of acceleration. That was the moment I was losing the most because they [KTM] can be super aggressive in the first part of acceleration, and us with the carbon clutch it's more difficult, this kind of acceleration.

“But we improved on that and it was so helpful. We won both races and we already had a great chance to do that, thanks to the start.” commentator and pitlane reporter Simon Crafar suggested there was also something different about Ducati's holeshot device switch in Austria.

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